1 out of 5 · genre: fiction · Young Adult

The Food of Love – Prowse, Amanda

Young Adult, Contemporary, Real Life,Sensitive Subjects, Eating Disorders
Kindle 364 Pages
1 out of 5

30826171

Freya Braithwaite knows she is lucky. Nineteen years of marriage to a man who still warms her soul and two beautiful teenage daughters to show for it: confident Charlotte and thoughtful Lexi. Her home is filled with love and laughter.

But when Lexi’s struggles with weight take control of her life, everything Freya once took for granted falls apart, leaving the whole family with a sense of helplessness that can only be confronted with understanding, unity and, above all, love.

In this compelling and heart-wrenching new work by bestselling author Amanda Prowse, one ordinary family tackles unexpected difficulties and discovers that love can find its way through life’s darkest moments. – Goodreads

Had to bold some parts on my review because it made me see red on multiple occasions, and question what the author was thinking, and what research (if any) they did.

Read some of the negative reviews and thoughts on this book and how the parents come close to child neglect and endangerment and I agree.

Glad this was a Kindle First book and I did not have to pay for it. How anyone enjoyed this book is beyond me. It doesn’t take anorexia seriously, parents are endangering a child by not getting proper medical treatment, thinking they know whats best.

This book is mainly told from Freya’s point of view with some of the oldest daughters view sprinkled in in the form of writing letters/stories to her youngest sister Lexi. Freya is a mother of two teenage daughters, a health nut/food blogger, and whose youngest daughter Lexi develops anorexia.

Reflecting on some of the other reviewers comments I have to agree that Freya’s obsession with healthy eating, frowning on those that might not be as healthy as her definitely contributed to her daughters eating disorder. As well as the fact that Freya told her own daughter she was fat, and had lost weight.

Freya also thinks she knows better then her child’s teachers and nurses because it’s her own daughter and she knows everything about what goes on in their lives. *eye roll* Before she visits the doctor with Lexi Freya has the nerve to think (at 14%) Lexi was doing this for attention! Are you kidding me!

Throughout this whole book you have  a woman whose daughter needs inpatient and urgent care but refuses to listen to the doctors because she thinks she knows best. Also the author writes a scene in such a way discrediting and portraying a younger doctor as this cold guy who doesn’t care about his patients, but an older doctor who was the nicest man in the whole wide world.

Freya also bends to Lexi’s every little whim and tantrum. The girl freaks out about her scales being taken away so Freya not wanting to upset her daughter lets the child have them even though the doctor told Freya to take the scales away so her daughter can get better not worse. Freya doesn’t listen, allows her daughter to keep the scales in order to placate her daughter and not cause a scene. Freya was so afraid of her daughter being mad and upset at her that she would rather contribute to the problem then try to fix it. The father seems to be the only voice of reason at the moment and takes the stupid scales away.

Over and over again throughout this book and world the author constructed NO ONE has either heard of anorexia or doesn’t think it’s that serious of a disease. How, in the 21st century does Freya not know anything about anorexia, especially being a food blogger and health nut! Freya sees Lexi’s disease as a small ‘blip’ and nothing to worry about.

Freya only cares about herself, how Lexi’s disease affects her, how her daughters are upset that they are no longer a happy family. Freya wants to keep Lexi as calm and as happy as possible to not upset her. THAT’S NOT HOW PARENTING WORKS. You are not supposed to be a friend to your kid, if your kid has a grave illness you do not do anything in your power to placate them because you don’t want to upset them. You be the adult and do what’s best, what the doctor said to do.

I don’t feel the author handled anorexia well at all and barely did any research into the disease and how it affects families and the lives of those that suffer from the disease. Perhaps if she had wrote the book from Lexi’s point of view instead of the mother it might have gone better. But Freya was not a likable character, none of them were. I felt pity for Lexi for what she had to go through but it didn’t feel real, it felt like a gross exaggeration.

I feel like Lexi’s portrayal of how she felt about the disease and how she felt about food was handled well, but how the adults/parents reacted to it and sought to get help for Lexi was not.

Shouting/threatening that Lexi will be forced to go the hospital if she doesn’t eat hasn’t worked, but they keep trying it, they try it up until the very end of the novel when an ambulance has to be called. Why is Freya so reluctant to get her daughter the proper care? How had they let it get as bad as they did? They knew their daughter wasn’t eating but did nothing. I feel like the stubbornness and spitefulness and ‘I know whats best/better then everyone even professional’ attitude had no build up regarding Freya’s character. There’s no stubbornness in any other area of Freya’s life.

Lexi continually states how much she hates food, the thought, smell, taste, sight, anything to do with it but Freya continues to try and shove food down her throat. Seeing that this doesn’t work what does Freya do? She keeps trying it anyways. She got annoyed when Lexi wouldn’t eat tuna she had gone to the store to get, as if her daughter were a child throwing a tantrum at not wanting to eat broccoli.

The father too tries to force his daughter to eat. Saying tears won’t work and he’s tired of all the moping around she’s doing. As if it’s as simple as forcing Lexi to eat and gain weight that she will be better. They are not addressing the clear mental and emotional issues she has with food. Something the therapist should have addressed and helped Lexi deal with, but they haven’t, which is why Lexi is still failing! How can these parents be so stupid and pig headed to see that it’s not as simple as forcing her to eat food!!! So frustrating!

I feel like Lexi is also under greats amount of stress, her parents saying her disease, which is killing her is only a blip, and that they see her traveling the world, and what a wild child she was when she was younger. They are not addressing the issue at heart, why Lexi developed anorexia in the first place, and are not taking the proper steps to help their daughter. The fact that Lexi is skin and bones and doing rigorous amounts of sit ups and the parents don’t do anything to stop it is just as concerning as them not taking Lexi to inpatient care!!

The only reason they end up taking Lexi to the hospital is because she slammed her wrists on the table and broke them because her bones were so frail. Not because of her refusal to eat. A doctor once again said that Lexi was losing bone (mass?) and has an electrolyte imbalance, parents know this but decided to keep her at home, where she wasn’t eating, instead of taking her to a professional. What does Freya have against doctors and hospitals!?

The only character I felt any pity for is Charlotte, who is pretty much ignored the whole book.

Freya doesn’t want Lexi to go away to the hospital with ‘people like that’ (78). Is this woman serious!? People like what?? Others that have eating disorders as well? Why is Lexi some special snow flake who is too good for a hospital? More importantly what is the authors problem with hospitals and doctors??

Lexi is finally admitted to inpatient care, but the whole portion of this part of the book seemed really weird and strange. How the place was described. Like what kind of inpatient facility has such a high demand for beds that if patients don’t comply with every little demand made they will be discharged?! That is an fu***ed up place to be!! And in no way akin to real life! There is no way a hospital/facility would allow a patient to be discharged in Lexi’s condition.  This place should have therapists to intensely work on her mental and emotional state as well as making sure she is getting nutrients, not just making sure she doesn’t rip the feeding tube out again.

Did the author do any research up into anorexia? The complicated nature of the disease? It’s not as simple as getting Lexi to eat, it’s addressing the mental and emotional damage that has been done as well.

The ending, where do I even start? What a cop out. I feel like half the book is missing. We’re left with Lexi going to a very intensive inpatient care facility, that is apparently worse/more strict then the place she had gone to before. Freya still doesn’t seem to get that it’s not about her and that Lexi’s disease is more complex and complicated then just forcing her to eat. To the very end Freya thought they could do it her way and force the “poorly” child to eat. The doctor comes visiting to the house because Lexi refuses to go to the hospital, and Freya once again not wanting to be the bad guy agrees and gets the doctor to make a house call. Lexi is then taken by ambulance to the hospital where she is told she must undergo treatment or die. With much much kicking and screaming by Lexi, and with reluctance Freya finally admits her to the strict inpatient facility.

Next they pop up a year later and they’re at the beach! A year is not nearly enough time for Lexi to be recovered given her state! And so much is left unanswered. How did the family as a unit and their relationships change and fair during this year? Did Freya ever really see that her way didn’t work and that Lexi’s anorexia wasn’t a blip? Doubt it.

Why the bloody hell are there discussion questions at the end? Part of me wanted to answer them but they are just so absurd.

What an utter disappointment, don’t think I’ll be picking up anything else by this author.

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